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The funniest justice: an update

Apparently not liking the feel of Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. breathing down his neck in the comic contest, Justice Antonin Scalia turned up the funny this week, creating a solid lead to protect his title of “The Funniest Justice” so far this term.

According to official transcripts, as of the close of oral arguments this week, Scalia’s comical comments have caused the crowd in the Supreme Court to laugh nine times since the term began a month ago. Roberts is still in second place with five funny cracks. Justices John Paul Stevens and Stephen Breyer have each made four chuckle-worthy comments, while Justice David Souter has made three. Justice Anthony Kennedy has made the crowd giggle once. Ruth Bader Ginsburg has yet to crack a joke.

Justice Clarence Thomas is also not officially on the board, but he gets and asterisk here because although he has not made an official on-the-record statement since the October 2005 term, he kept Breyer in stitches Tuesday during oral arguments in the case U.S. v Williams, whispering and laughing with his bench neighbor several times.

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